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There was a shift in Mac Miller's boisterous demeanor as he started the third of his three-song Tiny Desk set. It's the first time he's performed tracks from his new album, Swimming, in front of an audience. On "2009," he rubbed his chin with clinched eyes, looking like a young man who's beginning to crack the code. Backed by a piano loop and a string quartet, he reflected on his journey's peaks and valleys thus far.

It has to be said: The dude ... abrades.

For fans who have dreamed about the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard to Star Trek, actor Patrick Stewart might as well borrow his character's classic catchphrase and say, "Make it so."

It's a role that he hasn't stepped into since 2002, and fans are elated.

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Sand. It's everywhere, even in places you don't expect.

There's a type of orchid that resembles a female wasp. And in rare occasions, it will attract a male wasp to pollinate the flower.

That's the image on the cover of Caoilinn Hughes' new book, Orchid and the Wasp. But the relationship represents something heavier in Hughes' novel.

"So I was using this as a way to explore the relationship between the exploited and the exploiter," Hughes says. "And ask the question is it really exploitation if the loser isn't aware of what they're losing?"

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Think of a word that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The last letter of my first word will start your answer, and the last letter of your answer will start the second word.

Example: Landing ____ Ratio --> GEAR (landing gear, gear ratio)

1. Bus ____ Payment

2. Ranch ____ Drill

3. Wedding ____ Tag

4. Sewer ____ Trap

5. Magic ____ Tack

6. Crossing ____ Dog

7. Lens ____ Dating

Cary Grant. Katharine Hepburn. Spencer Tracy.

They were movie stars immortalized by "the golden age" of Hollywood during the mid-20th century, representing fame and beauty.

Behind the glossy glamour, the stars were also connected by something else: a man named Scotty Bowers who worked at a small gas station at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness — the epicenter of Tinseltown's covert sexual underground.

Tom Lehrer famously said that satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. And yet here we are, still struggling to exaggerate the follies of power until power can't get around us. Horror has much the same resilience. As terrifying as the world becomes, we still turn to imagined terrors to try and make sense of it.

If you missed the news on Monday, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were spotted dining out at a Washington D.C. cafe, rekindling their Oval Office "bromance" over sandwiches and fennel salad.

But there's also word of another meeting between the two former running mates, in which they team up to [checks notes] solve a murder.

Unpacking The QAnon Conspiracy Theory

Aug 4, 2018

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Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

Chinese authorities are razing one of the Beijing studios of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. He said that demolition crews showed up without advance warning, and have begun the process of tearing down the studio.

Ai has been a longtime critic of the government, and on Saturday, he began posting videos to his Instagram feed of the studio's destruction. "Farewell," Ai wrote. "They started to demolish my studio 'Zuoyuo' in Beijing with no precaution."

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I just can't think of a nice way to say this. The film "The Darkest Minds" begins with a horrifying premise.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) For their safety and yours, please turn over your children.

A Rearranging World In 'The Third Hotel'

Aug 4, 2018

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A Brief History Of The Drum Set

Aug 4, 2018

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Hollowed logs, stretched animal skins...


SIMON: Historian and drummer Daniel Glass says humans have been beating on things since the beginning of time.

Okay, so I'm just gonna lay the nut of this out for you right at the beginning. The protagonist of Edgar Cantero's new novel, This Body's Not Big Enough For Both Of Us, is A.Z. Kimrean, a private detective. And A.Z. Kimrean the private detective is/are two different people — Adrian Kimrean and Zooey Kimrean — both inhabiting the same body.

Uzo Aduba has won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — but what's really amazing is that she won those awards for the same role in the same show. She plays Suzanne Warren, an inmate better known as "Crazy Eyes" in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

Since Aduba plays "Crazy Eyes" we've invited her to answer three questions about private eyes.

Click the audio link above to see how she does.

Writer and artist Emil Ferris won three Eisner Awards — the highest award in mainstream comics — for her graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters. It's a huge tome, full of inky, scratchy drawings done in ballpoint pen, ranging from loose sketches to lovingly rendered covers of pulp horror magazines.

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In the 1980s, when comedian Lucille Ball was in her final years, she was approached by her hometown in upstate New York. They asked how she'd like to see her legacy preserved.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


A federal judge has dismissed a pair of lawsuits against the Fox News Channel over its coverage in May 2017 of the killing of a young Democratic Party aide named Seth Rich that had to be retracted just days later.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


No matter what you listen to in your life right now, no matter how far your musical tastes have come, the music you grew up with will always be special. Today's guest, Boz Scaggs, can tell you that firsthand. He played with the Steve Miller Band in the '60s and became a household name in the '70s thanks to songs like "Lido Shuffle" and albums like Silk Degrees.